Creative drawing: disorder wins the day

This afternoon, I sat down and did some freestyle colouring with my daughter.

Now anyone who knows me well will know that my artistic skills are close to non-existent. My elder brother took whatever genes existed in the artistic field—his abilities in this area are vast. Whatever was left when I came along was rather paltry. Hopefully I excel in other areas.

That aside, we broke open the brand new Crayola felt-tips and the rather tired A3 sketching pad and started creating.

Now to be clear, my lack of skills in this area are twofold: both my imagination and my drawing abilities are shit.

We flicked through the pad, searching for a blank page. (My daughter is not particularly methodical in using the paper in the order in which it was bound.) We happened upon a double-blank, so I took the page to the left of the spine; she the right.

Now my daughter has a penchant of late for drawing flowers, so we started drawing our own pictures geared to this theme. And the differences between our respective creations are palpable.

First, my effort.

I think it’s quite clear what it is. We have a flower, a butterfly, a rain cloud (with accompanying rain), a sun, a wiggly worm and some grass. That is all. Both the petals of the flower and the wings of the butterfly have been coloured in an orderly fashion, using dots instead of solid colour. And the grass and sun are similarly uniform.

Now to my daughter (soon to be five).

She went for four flowers, of varying colours. She drew both a wiggly worm and a snail (the snail seemingly winning the race at the time of drawing), and three each of butterflies (pink, top) and dragonflies (red, beneath). Two rain clouds (“rain is good for the flowers”) topped with a blue sky and the sun in the corner. The ground from which the flowers are growing undulates beautifully.

Despite her still being four, and despite my being more than 33 years older than her, my daughter’s picture is better than mine. By a country mile. And I’m delighted about this.

It has more imagination, more flair, more risks have been taken, there is less unnecessary order. And quite simply, stripping out any paternal bias, it’s more pleasing to look at than is mine.

The afternoon continued in the same vein. A castle, a princess to name but a couple. My creations were orderly and dull. Hers were haphazard and wonderful.

That said, a lovely afternoon was had by all concerned.


One Response to “Creative drawing: disorder wins the day”

  1. Yazz on March 20th, 2012 09:45

    Beautiful artwork and story Dan. Your daughter has a creative flair for sure.

    All partnerships need balance however: your penchant for order will be very helpful when it comes to tidying up after!

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